Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Hate crimes in public school: An investigation into the correlates of hate crimes in public schools

Hunter Kahn


Compared to crime in general, hate crimes are particularly detrimental, due to the prejudicial motivation of the offender. The deleterious effect might be especially salient for school-aged children, who can suffer physical and psychological trauma from merely witnessing the commission of a hate crime. There is a plethora of research on the prevalence, explanations, and consequences of crimes in school. However, aside from basic prevalence statistics, virtually nothing is known about hate crime incidents in school. This current study uses a nationally representative sample of 2,648 public schools in the United States to incorporate measures of student, school discipline, and community contexts in a model that predicts the hate-crime victimization of students in public schools. Findings reveal that among other factors, academic achievement, school size, the number of school resource officers, the use of out-of-school suspension, and the amount of crime where the school is located are all significantly correlated with hate crime victimization. The results of this study can be used to inform anti-hate crime programs and policies for schools, as well as to highlight potential avenues for future research to explore.